Tales of Woe
Friday, October 28, 2005 :::
Today's Washington Times picks up the argument that the GOP's national problems may shape the outcome of Virginia's elections.
There is much hand-wringing from assorted GOPers, including Del. Dave Albo and Chris LaCivita, but there is also an upbeat assessment from Jay Timmons.
Meanwhile, Del. Brian Moran is licking his chops over a possible Republican stumble:
"Some people, certainly in Northern Virginia, intend to send a message to the Republican Party about what's happening at the national level," he said.
The Kaine campaign said the national situation also helps them because it spotlights the muddle on one side of the Potomac River versus a state that looks well-managed under the Democrat Mr. Warner.
And there's part of the rub. I've written that Kilgore has problems with his base (and honestly, portions of that "base" have problems not so much with Kilgore as the people who serve on his campaign staff. Petty though it may be, it's real). And in the cross-tabs of polls like SurveyUSA, you can see how Kaine is doing a better job of energizing Democrats than Kilgore is among Republicans. This may change in the next few days, and the Rasmussen poll shows that Kilgore and Kaine both enjoy 80+ percent support among self-identified party members.
But do the fractures, tiffs and scuffles mean that Kilgore will come up short on election day? Very hard to say. They certainly do Kilgore no favors. Fairly or not, the bungling, dim-witted, pork-bound congressional GOP is only very reluctantly, and very slowly, beginning to realize that it might need to re-discover fiscal restraint. And the White House...well, the Miers debacle, coupled with what seems to be a lack of clear thinking on policy these days (re-instating Davis-Bacon in hurricane rebuilding efforts is just one example) doesn't inspire confidence, either.
But in spite of these handicaps...and they are many...the race is between Kaine and Kilgore. If conservatives are willing to sit on their hands and allow Kaine to be elected, that's their choice. But I don't want to hear a whisper or hint of bitching if a Gov. Kaine decides it's necessary to raise taxes for transportation. I don't want to hear a single gripe from them if a Gov. Kaine decides that clemency power just might be a good tool to thwart the death penalty. And I never want to hear, see or read a conservative bleating that if there was just someone else at the top of the GOP ticket, things would have been different.
Hold your nose and vote for Kilgore, if you have to. Pull the lever for Bolling and McDonnell with enthusiam. But if you decide it's more soothing to point fingers at the failings of others just remember this...you've got three fingers pointing back at you.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/28/2005